PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - January 19, 2020 


The Biden inauguration speech seen as a potential launching point for a resilient democracy; an increase in mental distress noted in Virginia.


2021Talks - January 19, 2021 


Trump expected to issue around 100 pardons and commutations today. Biden and Harris celebrate MKL and prep for first days in office. Voting rights legislation introduced in Congress could expand access to voting and reduce partisan gerrymandering.

Solar Power Site Aims to Save Endangered Bees, Butterflies

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

A flowering meadow will grow under and around the new solar panels at Cople Elementary School in Virginia like this project built in 2017 by Engie Distributed Solar.  (SunTribe Solar)
A flowering meadow will grow under and around the new solar panels at Cople Elementary School in Virginia like this project built in 2017 by Engie Distributed Solar. (SunTribe Solar)
April 3, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. - An elementary school in Westmoreland County is getting recognition for more than education.

The Virginia Pollinator-Smart Program announced that Cople Elementary gets the state's first Gold Certified pollinator-friendly award for a solar panel array. Solar sites like Cople include acres of native plants and grasses to attract endangered pollinators, such butterflies, bees and wildlife.

Lisa Mattson, director of pollinator programs with Sun Tribe Solar - which installed the array with the state program - says these species are crucial for the food system.

"Pollinators are of the utmost importance, because 75% of our food crops rely on pollinators for promulgation," says Mattson. "Pollinators are in terrible danger right now, and we all have an obligation to do what we can to bring them back."

The Commonwealth's Pollinator-Smart Program will be posting a webinar about how to build pollinator landscapes at solar installations and in communities. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation website has more information.

Virginia is likely to see even more solar pollinator-friendly installations, with passage of the 2020 Virginia Clean Economy Act. The landmark bill shifts the state away from fossil fuel use to renewable energy by 2050.

The law prioritizes solar access. And Rob Davis, director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy with Fresh Energy - a nonprofit that supports the Virginia Pollinator-Smart Program - says that means a potential boom in solar pollinator habitats across the state.

"We're talking about an incremental but meaningful difference in the vegetation growing around, as well as under, the plans throughout the project," says Davis.

In the United States, the number of bee colonies per 100 acres has declined by 90% since 1962, according to Greenpeace. Climate change, use of pesticides and habitat loss are considered leading causes of the decline.

Disclosure: Fresh Energy contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Rural/Farming, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Diane Bernard, Public News Service - VA